Ripe For The Picking

Wareham, Massachusetts is hardly the place you’d expect a skateboarder to come out of. Given the community’s proximity to the tourist-bound Cape Cod, a reasonable career path for a kid coming out of Wareham might be a boat builder. Family and home businesses are an option as they recently were for Brandon Westgate’s mother-she just started a dog-grooming business in the basement. If putting on waders and sifting through fruit is your cup of tea, perhaps a job working on the cranberry farms-something Papa Westgate has been doing since he was Brandon’s age-sounds like a good idea. But skateboarding? Nah, that’s just something you do to wreak havoc and have a little fun as a kid-something that gets you into trouble with your parents-like popping wheelies or rallying the car. Well, we were lucky to catch up with Brandon recently, and at the young age of seventeen and showing skills that could easily define his future as a professional skateboarder, it seems skateboarding is the only thing that hasn’t gotten him in trouble-yet.

Whose idea was it for you to go hang out in a bunch of cranberries for your portrait

That was Seamus’ (Deegan, Zoo TM) idea. The cranberry fields are where my dad works. I always tell people about what he does and what it is, but they never have a clue. The cranberries are all vines, and when they go to pick ’em, they flood the field and have picking machines-almost like an eggbeater-which knock the vines and then the berries float to the top. And then they corral it and suck ’em up. It was picking season, so we decided to shoot some photos up there.

Do you get free cranberry juice for life

Yeah, well, we have a sh-tload of cranberries in bags sitting on the front steps of the house.

What is Mom’s specialty as far as cooking with cranberries go

Well, my mom’s not really a good cook (laughs).

Every time I bring up your name to people, they say, “He’s the coolest kid ever,” or “He’s my favorite new dude.” Why are you so likeable

I’m just easygoing and down to hang out and have a good time.

Always being the youngest guy of the group, have the older team guys ever felt the need to pick on you

(Laughs) Maybe if I get too out of line. I piss ’em off sometimes and they’ll throw me around a little bit. I’ll make sh-t up so they believe it, like tell them some random story to psych ’em up about something, like we’re going to an amusement park or whatever, and then they figure out I’m lying and get pissed.

What’s the worst thing they’ve done to you

We were on this trip, and Seamus and Anthony (Shetler) made up this story that we got kicked out of the hotel and it was all my fault. Three in the morning and the hotel’s pissed at us-Seamus was pretending to be so mad at me like I got us kicked out. We ended up really leaving and driving off to this sketchy motel where we stayed. It was really crazy.

Have you ever, at any point in your short seventeen years on this earth, feared for your life

Just one time when I was flying in some turbulence. Some dude was standing and fell on everyone sitting down. It was scary.

So you’ve never been duct-taped and left in a motel room before

Actually, I do have a story about being duct-taped. When I rode for 5boro, on my fifteenth birthday, they got these strippers and they duct-taped me to a chair and gave me a lap dance. They gave me some oil and I just squirted ’em down.

What’s the most amount of money you’ve spent on something, only for it to get destroyed and rendered not usable after you got it

I got this street bike. It was like brand new. And my dad had one, too. His was bigger than mine. So when my dad wasn’t home, I took his out, and my (younger) brother took mine out. We were riding around, everything was good, and then my brother crashed my bike and totaled it-a (Suzuki) GSX-R 600. I had it for like two months. This was pretty recently.

What do you tell your parents when somethingike that happens

Well, we told ’em the truth because we kinda had to. I was just scared that my brother got wrecked, too. My bike was completely trashed-the frame was twisted, all the plastic was ripped off, the handlebars were bent.

So you’re on Emerica, a team heavily known to be into their Harleys, but you go against the grain and own a crotch rocket. Is that strictly for the “wheelieing down the strip and picking up chicks” factor

(Laughs) Nah, I don’t know. I like the Harleys, but I’d rather have one of these just to go faster. And you can wheelie.

Can you out-wheelie your pops

Oh yeah, for sure. But I’ll get him to wheelie, ’cause sometimes he’ll be such a pussy. So I’ll get him psyched up and then he’ll try some.

Do you and your dad have matching helmets for your bikes

Kinda. I had a black bike, so I just had a black helmet.

So that’s not really as flamboyant as they guy with the neon-green bike and the neon-green helmet.

(Laughs) Nah, nah. None of that neon sh-t.

Do you think Heath and the boys would allow a crotch rocket to join them on next year’s Wild Ride

I don’t know. I didn’t want ’em to know about it for so long. They’d probably be bummed (laughs). But then Jeff Henderson, the Emerica team manager, ended up coming to my house and I showed him. He sat on it and said it was crazy.

Your parents allowed you to bring your girlfriend on family camping trips where you guys slept in the same tent. How do you convince Mom and Dad to let you bring your girlfriend on a camping trip when you’re only an early teen

I was going out with her for a couple years and she ended up living at my house because her living situation was real bad. She just looked at my parents as her parents, so it was pretty cool.

Did Dad ever try and catch you guys messing around

Yeah, the first time I ever tried to do anything in the tent. He heard us and started laughing like, “Oh sh-t.” It was a little awkward, so I was like, “Let’s stop this sh-t.”

Is Dad more of a dad or a drinking buddy

Oh no, he’s my dad for sure. When he gets pissed, he gets pissed. Like when I took his bike out, he was so pissed at me. But he’s a homey, too.

Did you two get those bikes at the same time originally

Pretty much. We got ’em a couple weeks apart.

Other than your girlfriend, do you have other girls that spend the night at your house

Yeah, I had this other girl that was staying for a bit. They just end up coming over and for some reason, they never leave (laughs). Some stay in my room and some of ’em don’t. We have this other girl staying at my house right now, and I’ve known her for so long. She was living with her mom, but her mom didn’t want her living there anymore, so then she was on some foster program. Then she didn’t want to stay at the foster parents’ house, so then she went to live with her boyfriend, and now she asked to stay here. She’s eighteen.

Do you make your brother live in the closet

Nah, he just chose to do that. He has his own room and we have a ton of rooms in the house, but for some reason, he just chose the closet. It’s maybe ten by eight, but the ceiling slants down. He’s got a bed in there, a coffee table with a TV on it, and then another coffee table with a fan on it, and that’s it. You can’t even walk in there. It’s pretty much just a bed.

Before you got on Zoo, Donny Barley specifically pinpointed you as someone he wanted on the team. What’s it like knowing one of your all-time favorites specifically chose you

Yeah, it’s rad, because Donny is sick and I like him a lot. I’ve known him for a little while, but we’ve just started going on trips and he’s a really cool guy.

When you first started getting sponsored and going on trips, which pro did you fan out the most over

Pretty much all the dudes on the Emerica team like Heath and Reynolds. And they’re all cool guys, too.

You have an Audi you rally around the streets, huh

Yeah, a ’98 Audi four-door. I got it from a salvage yard for pretty cheap.

That thing ever get you in trouble

(Laughs) Yeah, I wrecked it once. We have all these dirt roads by my house, so I whip it around the dirt roads. I was going 60 and hit this pothole that launched me up in the air and sent me straight down and put a huge hole in the oil pan ’cause that’s the lowest point of the car. I got so jacked. I was stuck in the woods, and the tow-truck dude was so pissed at me. There are all these potholes out there, so he couldn’t get his truck out there. And he couldn’t even find the road-it’s so bumpy going out there and it was dark. I tried to call my dad, and he was so pissed at that, too. But he ended up fixing that for me, too. I unbolted the oil pan, but it wouldn’t come off all the way, so he took it to work, jacked it up, unbolted it, and it still wouldn’t come out all the way. So he just welded straight underneath it, and it’s been working ever since.

Although you mostly hang around grown-ass, grisly-looking men, you’ve maintained quite the innocent look, even when getting into all these mischievous acts. Sure, you’re still young, but how do you do it

I just kinda go with the flow, wherever that takes me.

Are you good at talking your way out of things

Sometimes (laughs), but sometimes not. Usually I just end up getting myself into more trouble.

d the streets, huh

Yeah, a ’98 Audi four-door. I got it from a salvage yard for pretty cheap.

That thing ever get you in trouble

(Laughs) Yeah, I wrecked it once. We have all these dirt roads by my house, so I whip it around the dirt roads. I was going 60 and hit this pothole that launched me up in the air and sent me straight down and put a huge hole in the oil pan ’cause that’s the lowest point of the car. I got so jacked. I was stuck in the woods, and the tow-truck dude was so pissed at me. There are all these potholes out there, so he couldn’t get his truck out there. And he couldn’t even find the road-it’s so bumpy going out there and it was dark. I tried to call my dad, and he was so pissed at that, too. But he ended up fixing that for me, too. I unbolted the oil pan, but it wouldn’t come off all the way, so he took it to work, jacked it up, unbolted it, and it still wouldn’t come out all the way. So he just welded straight underneath it, and it’s been working ever since.

Although you mostly hang around grown-ass, grisly-looking men, you’ve maintained quite the innocent look, even when getting into all these mischievous acts. Sure, you’re still young, but how do you do it

I just kinda go with the flow, wherever that takes me.

Are you good at talking your way out of things

Sometimes (laughs), but sometimes not. Usually I just end up getting myself into more trouble.